The Virginia Tech wrestling team opened the season with seven straight dual meet wins, including a convincing 23-14 win over No. 9 ranked Edinboro. Unfortunately for the Hokies, since then the season hasn't been quite as smooth. Tech lost to 15th ranked Virginia on November 24th, and then while wrestling at the Las Vegas Invitational, Hokies 141 pound wrestler Devin Carter, injured himself during a match (which he finished and still won).
The worst feeling in the world.— Devin Carter (@DevinCarter141) December 13, 2013
I will be out this season for a torn hamstring in 2 different places. I will be getting surgery This is the worst news I have ever had in— Devin Carter (@DevinCarter141) December 13, 2013
my wrestling career... I promise to myself and the VT nation that Ill give it 150% effort to come back and win that national title. For now— Devin Carter (@DevinCarter141) December 13, 2013
Im educating myself in the sport and recovering to reach my goals. Thanks for the support from all Hokie fans, and I wish I could— Devin Carter (@DevinCarter141) December 13, 2013
represent VT in March.— Devin Carter (@DevinCarter141) December 13, 2013
The Hokies placed 10th out of 33 teams at the Las Vegas Invitational (12/6 - 12/7). A 5th place finish from Chris Penny (197 pounds), and a 6th place finish from Carter, who had advanced to the semifinals of the tournament before having to default out because of injury, helped Tech close in the top-10. Austin Gabel and Nick Vetterlein each finished 7th at 174 pounds and 184 pounds, respectively.
Next up for the Hokies was the Midlands Championships (12/29 - 12/30). Two current, and one former Hokie placed. Nick Brascetta (157 pounds) and Zach Epperly (174 pounds), both wrestled unattached because they are redshirting, finished in 5th place. The surprise, was turning on the B1G Network and seeing former Hokie wrestler and current Bucknell assistant coach, Jarrod Garnett in the finals.
"Our effort and toughness was unacceptable today," said head coach Kevin Dresser. "We lost because we quit wrestling on too many occasions. 2014 will be coming in like a lion in the Virginia Tech wrestling room on Wednesday. I won't go through another round like this ever again."
Beginning on Jan 10th, the Hokies set out to defend their Virginia Duals title. Tech was the third seed in the 14-team field. On the first day of competition Tech disposed of Nebraska-Kearney (27-6) and Rider (25-9). Tech got off to a hot start winning 15 of the 20 matches wrestled. However, on the second day Tech lost their rematch with Edinboro (9-23). The Hokies did bounce back to win the third place match against Kent State (19-6). In-state rival, Virginia won the Virginia Duals.
"Our fight was good in most places," said Tech head coach Kevin Dresser. "I'm excited for the progress at 157 pounds. We need to have a great week to get ready for UNC and Maryland."
The team did just that.
This past weekend, the Hokies hosted North Carolina and Maryland. Tech drubbed North Carolina 29-3 on Friday, and swatted away Maryland 23-9 on senior night. Tech has been blessed to have seniors, John Dickson, Zach Neibert, Chris Penny, Erik Spjut and Nick Vetterlein competing for the university.
Up next is a dual this Friday night against Duke. This dual meet will be held at Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, NC at 7:30 PM Also, don't forget to mark your calendars for March 8, 2014, as the Virginia Tech Wrestling Team defends their ACC Championship title at home in Cassell Coliseum.